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The results of a new study could reduce animal testing in the medical field.

Together, researchers from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Inotiv Inc. and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have developed a new method to screen for skin allergens.

The researchers looked at 92 chemicals. Seventy-seven percent of the results “concurred with those of a common animal testing method.” According to NISTthe effective new method is not only more ethical than animal testing, but also “potentially cheaper and faster”.

Published in the journal toxic, the researchers hope their method will become standardized. This will therefore reduce the number of animals used in science.

The need for alternatives to animal testing

Research into animal-free experimentation methods in the medical field is vital. More than 50 million animals are used in experiments in the United States, says the human society. These include mice, monkeys, dogs, pigs, rats, sheep, cows and frogs.

The non-profit organization says: “There is no limit to the extent of pain and suffering that can be inflicted in experiments.”

“In some cases, the animals are not given anything to relieve their pain or distress during or after the experiment on the grounds that it might affect the experiment.”

But, as the search for alternatives progresses, changes may be on the horizon. In 2020, researchers at the University of Dundee grew skin in a lab in a bid to reduce animal testing.

One of the researchers, Dr. Michael Coneely, said the temperature that animal testing is often not even 100% reliable. He said animals serve as “good analogs for studying general principles.” But added that “they often fail when it comes to specific details due to animal/human species differences”.

He continued, “Over 90% of drugs proven to be safe and effective in animals fail in clinical trials.”

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